January 31, 2011 | Comments Off on A Report: Railroad Hobby Show 2011

The Railroad Hobby Show was a fun and informative train show held this past weekend in Springfield, MA. They dont call it the “Big One” for nothing. People, Vendors and layouts were everywhere. I spent 4 hours there and still have this feeling that i missed some part.

I stopped by the Clever Model’s booth and met Thom and David. As a cardstock modeler, their textures and kits are of an exceptional quality. Purists might scoff at “paper models” when compared to wood structures. However, these “paper models” could easily be placed in the background and no one will know the difference. They were offering their texture disk for $25 and the various kits-on-disk for $30. I did purchase their texture disk and will post a review in the coming days.

I also visited Evan Design’s Model Builder booth. For a paper/cardstock modeler, the options to create any structure in Model builder software and pairing it with Clever Model’s textures should give plenty of ideas.

A virtual simulator on a LCD monitor, showing the Connecticut Trolley Museum‘s route and streetcars caught my eye when i noticed that it was created in Trainz. The museum offers a 3 mile trip in restored streetcars. They will be opening in April for the season.

Though Trainz was not on tour at the show, the fact that the Trolley museum used it for their route display and Conrail Historical Society having a PC running theTrainz simulator for people to play with, proves that it is easy to use and create routes in.

I also stopped by the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum display. They have been doing a lot of restoration work on their rolling stock and structures.

There were a lot of layouts to savor in each of the buildings of the show. The Northeast N-Track had the biggest layout in the show. A few modules were encased/covered and they had made a night scene. This did give a unique perspective to the “always daylight” layouts. Wind power and solar farms in one module brought it to the our times.

The best layout, i felt should have been the CNY layout. I was mesmerized by the level of detail. Their layout drew you into the scenes and you felt you were part of the layout. I don’t know if I was tired or hungry when i was examining it but I could not get away from it. Details were plenty but not overly crowed. The use of foreground and background trees with photo backdrops placed you in the layout.

I did take videos but still have to process and edit them. I should be able to finish by the end of the week. Meanwhile, click on the picture for the show gallery:

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